Rapides Regional Medical Center Celebrates 120th Anniversary

Rapides Regional Medical Center is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year.  ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey has more on how the hospital has changed over the years.

Charla Ducote with Rapides Regional Medical Center said, “We’re excited at Rapides Regional Medical Center to celebrate our 120th anniversary.  The hospital opened in 1903 actually on January 1st by six physicians and it opened with 20 beds in a hotel located on Lee and 2nd Street in downtown Alexandria.  So it’s a tremendous effort of 120 years to be a staple of this community in downtown Alexandria as well as what we’ve grown to.”

Ducote talks about the growth of the hospital in 120 years.

“From just starting having six physicians being brave enough to start a hospital in a community like Alexandria.  And then to grow from six physicians to 450 physicians and 30 specialties.  There’s been a lot of growth and a lot of history here at the hospital especially from things like polio.  We were the area’s polio center in this community, saved many lives, saw many sad situations as well.  Penicillin being administered here for the first time.  All the way to COVID vaccines being administered here for the first time, so many, many marvels of medical history that have happened in this facility.”

Ducote says many physicians are leaving a legacy in their sons and daughters.

“Through these halls have walked many fine individuals from many physicians who are multigenerational in our community.  Their sons and their daughters have become physicians is something we’re very proud of but also the nursing and other staff here at the hospital that are multigenerational as well.  But also just what we’ve overcome, from depression and two world wars as well as the pandemic.  We’re very proud.  Our people are very dedicated here at the hospital, and it may be only 120 years but I can guarantee it’s going to be many more years of this hospital.  It’s an institution that’s proud to be in downtown Alexandria and will continue to grow to take care of the medical needs of our community.”